Army speeds acquisition of networking equipment

The Army is taking a new approach to purchasing networking equipment to electronically connect soldiers on the battlefield by buying in smaller quantities and testing systems before acquiring them, the Washington Post reports.

The approach is different from the major developmental programs of the past; service officials say they’re holding regular meetings with industry officials seeking to involve them earlier in the acquisition process, the article said.

Before equipment goes to the test range, the Army meets with applicants who want to demonstrate their systems, the story added. Companies with promising technology are invited to bring their products into labs where they are tested with the existing network technology. The service will work with the company to identify weaknesses or problems the company can then fix and retest to improve the systems, the story also said.

Reader Comments

Thu, Feb 23, 2012 Patrick

I understand what he's talking about. The pace of fielding C4ISR systems right now is such that the soldiers do not have enough time to be proficient with one system before its replaced or "complemented" with another. Contractors are like home builders - if they are not currently working on something then they are not needed - so keep building!

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 Vet

That's an incredibly flawed way of looking at things. Training soldiers to "think on thier own" can't magically make them know where friendly and enemy forces are on a battlefield. Thinking on your own can't help you alert your CO that you see enemy movement if you don't have comms. We have a chance here to make the infantryman what an F-22 Raptor is for fighters. Abandoning technology just because some of our guys aren't properly trained is a monumentally disastrous idea. And I honestly can't see the reasoning behind your swipe at the Rifleman Radio, it is arguably the best radio the Army has ever come up with.

Mon, Feb 13, 2012 CPT Signal Corps Ft. Gordon, Ga.

"The Army is taking a new approach to purchasing networking equipment to electronically connect soldiers on the battlefield by...testing systems before acquiring them..." You mean the Army (Acquisition Corps) actually got around to testing systems before acquiring them? That's why so many of our systems collect dust in connex boxes today--because they aren't interoperable with squat. IT contractors are generally (General Dynamics...the worst selling those rifleman radios) making out like bandits, meanwhile most Soldiers don't fully utilize our existing capabilities that do work. We honestly could kill this whole "smart" technology concept, get back to the basics, and teach Soldiers how to think on their own again. Technology is a tool--that's it. A vast majority of our Soldiers (officers like me and NCOs) are untrained after 10+ years of combat. They don't know how to use half the IT stuff we already have. I'd rather put a new rifle in the hand's of any Soldier way more than a smartphone or whatever the next high speed gadget. Just one Army Signal CPTs take...

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